Dusky are the purveyors of the best bassline house music in the UK. Their typical combination of jackin’ bass with a garage beat is golden. Performing a multi-hour set they’re masters of variation, as deep house is merged with more melodic and minimalistic episodes. Dusky are London based musicians Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell, a duo who have risen to prominence this year via the Flo Jam Ep and a series of remixes of Andre Crom, Hot Chip and others. Accompanying them tonight is Jozif. He brings a more classic house come electro feel to proceedings, a sound he encapsulated in September’s Lady B EP. It’s a good combination and the venue, Cowley Road’s Bullingdon Arms, is packed. Simple Presents, the group responsible for hosting the night, are building quite a reputation for themselves. On May Day they brought the world renowned Joy Orbison to Oxford, and this demonstrates the level they’re operating on. We’re lucky to have them. It’s good that the nights they put on are so well received, but this popularity has a flip side. Nationwide, and especially in the context of Oxford, house and bass music is becoming dominated by the people who can afford the latest adidas originals and nike high-tops. Shouts of ‘ya mate, what a tune!’ are all too frequent at the Bullingdon. Everyone’s so desperate to be up to date on the scene just for the sake of being so, and this pointless desire to be current has the potential to damage UK music. You would hope that people don’t go to nights like this just to appear trendy. So all I would say, and I’m sure Dusky and Jozif would agree, is that a new tune is not good just because it’s new, and a good tune is good regardless of age.
PHOTO / Claire Williams Photography